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November 4, 2020

Larson, DeLauro, Courtney and Himes declare victory

Photo | CT MIrror U.S. Rep Jim Himes, D-4th District, on the campaign trail.

The final votes are not yet tallied, but U.S. Reps. John Larson, Jim Himes, Joe Courtney and Rosa DeLauro, all Democrats, have declared victory.

Courtney issued a victory statement Wednesday morning.

“With unprecedented turnout and a significant number of mail-in ballots to count last night, I waited to comment on the outcome until our hard-working local election officials had the time they needed to count the votes and record the voice of the voters of our district and state,” Courtney said. “With nearly all precincts now reporting, I am deeply grateful that the voters of our region have given me the chance to represent them again in the upcoming 117th Congress.”

DeLauro, D-3rd District, claimed victory late Tuesday. “Tonight we celebrate, and tomorrow the work begins,” she said. She ran against wealthy businesswoman Margaret Streicker, who put more than $1.6 million of her own money into her campaign and mounted a vigorous effort. Justin Paglino of the Green Party also sought DeLauro’s seat.

“I think it’s a safe bet that I’ve won,” said Larson, D-1st District, shortly after the polls had closed Tuesday. In pursuit of his 12th term representing the heavily Democratic district, he was amassing a margin of victory of nearly two to one as the count continued.

Larson’s Republican opponent, West Hartford council member Mary Fay, had not called to concede at the time, he said. “But she could be trying to call.” Thomas McCormick of the Green Party was also in the 1st District race.

Himes, D-4th District, also said Tuesday night that he is confident he’s won his race against GOP opponent Jonathan Riddle.

“I am am enormously grateful to my constituents,” Himes said. The ongoing pandemic, he said, has made this “a very unconventional election.”

Himes also said he was “humbled” by his win and predicted a final tally of votes would show he won re-election by a wider margin than two years ago.

Courtney, D-2nd District, waited until Wednesday morning to issue a statement, commenting on the “unprecedented” nature of the election and thanking election officials and his opponents: Republican Justin Anderson;  Dan Reale, a Libertarian, and Cassandra Martineau of the Green Party. Courtney’s district encompasses the entire eastern half of the state — which includes a dozen small towns that favored Trump.

“Running for office is not easy in a normal year,” Courtney said, “and this year was a particularly challenging time for anyone to put themselves forward and run a campaign. Each of these candidates ran campaigns that were focused on the issues at hand for eastern Connecticut. It was always a pleasure to interact with them throughout this process, and I commend them for their hard work.”

Rep. Jahana Hayes, D-5th District, who faced an unexpectedly strong challenge from former prosecutor David X. Sullivan, said late Tuesday she preferred to wait “for all votes to be tallied before making any additional comments on the election.” Hayes was leading substantially as the night wore on.

“Like many people across the country tonight, I hope that candidates and officials show respect for the integrity of our political process, which means counting every single vote,” Hayes said in a late night statement. “I believe there is no better way to achieve that goal than leading by example.”

Hayes, however, said her “internal numbers looked promising,” and she hoped to “be heading back to Washington to continue the work we started.” Independent candidate Bruce Walczak was also a candidate in the race.

Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of Inside Elections, a nonpartisan political newsletter, said it’s hard for challengers to unseat incumbents in any election year.

“In most cases, the incumbent starts with a significant advantage in name ID, fundraising, and the ability to communicate with constituents through the duties of their office,” he said.

Gonzales also said “incumbents are also generally in alignment with the partisanship of the district, so challengers are either hoping the partisan behavior of the district changes or they have to persuade enough voters to split their tickets.”

Early election results indicated few Connecticut voters split their tickets. Democrat Joe Biden was unofficially declared the winner in Connecticut on Tuesday night.

Democrats were projected to keep their majority in the U.S. House.

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